Underground Power

A once-in-a-generation project with Western Power to deliver affordable underground power to the City of Vincent is underway.

Western Power, the State Government and Vincent have committed to converting distribution powerlines to underground power, delivering reliable and safe power while improving street appeal and allowing the tree canopy to flourish.

By undergrounding power lines, we're not only improving safety and visual amenity, but also increasing capacity, which can be used to host more rooftop solar, electric vehicles and other tech. More circuits, larger cables, and innovative network design means Western Power can better manage energy demands and power us towards net-zero.

Council’s vision in its 10-year Strategic Community Plan is for Vincent to be a leafy and vibrant 24-hour city synonymous with quality design and sustainability.

Undergrounding power will help achieve this vision quicker than any other single project in our history.

Project Areas

See interactive map

North Perth / Mount Hawthorn
Read More
North Perth / Mount Lawley
Read More
Perth / Highgate
Read More
Read More
Mount Hawthorn (South Scarborough Beach Road)
Read More
West Perth
Read More
North Perth
Read More
Mount Hawthorn (North Scarborough Beach Road)
Read More



What are the benefits of undergrounding power?

Underground power is designed to deliver reliable and safe power, while improving your street appearance and opportunities for emerging technologies. Benefits include:

  • Improved public safety – with better street lighting neighbourhoods feel safer. Other general safety benefits include reduced electrical contact injuries, and reduced motor vehicle and power pole collisions.
  • Reduced environmental impact – less use of herbicides (weed control) and pesticides (termite control) around wooden power poles.
  • Greater reliability and security – once power is underground, you’ll experience fewer disruptions after major storm events, which means reduced likelihood of unplanned power outages.
  • Improved street appearance – no power lines create a more aesthetically pleasing neighbourhood.
  • Increased property value – the absence of poles and wires, new street lighting and improved tree canopy has a positive impact on property values.
  • Reduction in street tree pruning – property owners and Local Government save on street tree pruning costs, while also allowing the tree canopy to flourish. The City’s saving on tree maintenance after the undergrounding power project is completed is estimated to be up to $600,000 per year.
  • Reduction in street lighting energy use and maintenance costs – new streetlights installed as part of the undergrounding program will be more energy efficient and require less maintenance. Following the completion of the undergrounding power project, greenhouse gas emissions from streetlights will be reduced by around 35% (equivalent to 1.4 tons of CO2 per day). Cost savings are expected to be around 30%, equivalent to $243,000 per year at 2022/23 energy prices.
  • Lower life-cycle costs – underground power has minimal maintenance and operating costs and avoids costly and complex pole replacement.
  • Future technology - helps pave the way for innovation and caters better to future power demand. Undergrounding increases capacity for emerging clean energy technologies, which will help deliver the Western Australian Government's goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

How will underground power affect my property’s value?

The Economic Regulation Authority’s 2011 inquiry investigated the overall costs and benefits of the State Underground Power Program and identified an increase in property value for property owners when power is undergrounded.

This increase was attributed to the combination of benefits arising from undergrounding, including safety and amenity.

A recent review undertaken by KPMG found that undergrounding increases a property's price by 3.1% on average.

Based on the 2023 median house price in Vincent ($1,142,500) this average increase in property value is equivalent to $35,417.

Are there any drawbacks to undergrounding power?

Impacts for residents include the initial cost, though this does represent an investment in the longer term. The Economic Regulation Authority’s 2011 inquiry investigated overall costs and benefits of the State Underground Power Program and identified an increase in property value for property owners when power is undergrounded.

Support is available, with Vincent committed to offering ratepayers the option of a longer payback period.

Other impacts include potential disruption or inconvenience associated with construction works, including dust, vibrations, noise, and traffic management. These will be minimised as much as possible.

What would happen if we didn’t underground power?

Undergrounding power in Vincent is a ten-year program. Several areas targeted for earlier implementation have overhead infrastructure coming to the end of its service life.

If we don’t take this opportunity to underground power now, Western Power will replace this infrastructure on a like-for-like basis as it needs to be replaced. There isn’t going to be another opportunity to underground power for approximately 50 years.

There are also sound economic and environmental reasons to take this time-limited opportunity such as reduced lifecycle and maintenance costs, improved reliability of power supply and a level of infrastructure which will be more compatible with emerging technologies.

Project Areas

What is the Underground Power Program?

The City of Vincent’s Underground Power Program is being delivered in collaboration with Western Power, and this $170 million Program is currently underway.

Western Power and Vincent have committed to work together toward converting overhead distribution powerlines to underground power, delivering reliable and safe power for almost 16,000 properties in Vincent across eight project areas.

Is underground power coming to my area?

In May 2022, Council authorised the CEO to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for its first three project areas in North Perth/Mount Lawley, North Perth/Mount Hawthorn, and Perth/Highgate.

In December 2022, a second MOU was signed for a further five project areas which will cover Leederville, Mount Hawthorn, West Perth, and North Perth.


When is underground power coming?

Design work is currently underway for the first three project areas. Construction is expected to commence in the second half of 2024 for project area one (North Perth/Mount Hawthorn), in 2024/2025 for area two (North Perth/Mount Lawley) and in the first half of 2026 for area three (Perth/Highgate).  Each project area will be completed within two years from commencement.

Project area four (Leederville) is also due to start in 2026, followed by area five (Mount Hawthorn – south of Scarborough Beach Road) which is due to start in 2027. Both projects are expected to be completed in 2029.

The three remaining project areas will start in 2030 with all of Vincent to have underground power by the end of 2031.

Proposed timelines are subject to change. Information on our website will be updated regularly for each project area.

Fees and Charges

Who is paying for underground power?

Western Power and Vincent have committed to work together toward converting overhead distribution powerlines to underground power, delivering reliable and safe power for almost 16,000 properties in Vincent across eight project areas.

The cost of this major project will be shared between Western Power and ratepayers:

  • Western Power will fund part of the network charge.

This is the cost of removing power poles, placing overhead distribution cables below ground, and installing new streetlights. This cost will vary by project area.

  • Ratepayers will fund the balance of the network charge, plus a connection fee.

The connection fee is the cost of underground cable connection between your own property and the new network i.e., between the Green Dome located at the boundary of the property and the building(s).

Ratepayers will pay one single service charge, which is the combined total of the network charge for their area and applicable connection fee for their property.

If I already have a green dome, will I still need to pay?

If the meter box at your property is already connected via underground cable to a ‘Green Dome’, you will not be charged a connection fee, however you will still have to pay the balance of the network charge.


I’m a pensioner and/or Seniors Card holder, will I need to pay the full amount?

Property owners holding either a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card, or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card together with a WA Seniors Card will be entitled to a 50 per cent discount on underground power charges, proportionate to their share of the property. If you choose to pay by instalments this 50 per cent discount is available for each year instalment payments are applicable.

State Government Seniors Card holders can access a fixed rebate of $100, for payment in full, proportionate to their share of the property.

Visit ConcessionsWA for more information.


If I live in Highgate East and have already paid for underground power, will I need to pay again?

Residents in Highgate East who have already paid to have power undergrounded will not be required to pay again. Only residents receiving underground power as part of this Program will pay for infrastructure costs (network charge and connection fee).


What are the estimated costs to ratepayers in each project area?

The cost per property will range from $3000 to $9000. Most properties are expected to fall in the middle of this range. The higher end of the range will apply to less than 8 per cent of properties.

Ratepayers should wait before making financial commitments or plans as Western Power will provide more accurate estimates in future.


When and how will I have to pay?

There are no financial implications to ratepayers in the 2024/25 financial year. Charges for the first project area (North Perth /Mount Hawthorn) will be issued in July 2025. Charges for the remaining areas will be issued in the years that follow, as each project area progresses from design to construction.

As the total cost of undergrounding power will vary for each of the eight project areas, property owners will pay different amounts. All applicable costs (network charge and connection fee, subject to an existing Green Dome connection) will be factored into one ‘service charge’.

To support the payment process, the City of Vincent has adopted a financial model to guide the roll-out of underground power. We recognise payment may be difficult for some, so the model includes options for ratepayers to either pay their service charges upfront or choose a four-year payback period.

As well as using funds from our Underground Power Reserve and Tamala Park Land Sales Reserve, Vincent will be borrowing funds from the Western Australian Treasury Corporation (WATC) to support this longer payback period. Ratepayers choosing the four-year payment option will therefore be charged interest. Interest rates will be subject to applicable WATC rates at the time.


Why did the City of Vincent put 2.1% of rates towards Underground Power in Financial Year 2022/23?

As part of the 2022/23 budget, 2.1 per cent of rates (median cost per ratepayer of $29) went towards the Underground Power Reserve. This reserve is not an underground power service charge or levy. It enables us to offer residents in current underground power project areas the option of paying back their costs of underground power over a longer period.

The extended payback option is, in effect, a loan from the city. It will be recouped once the eight underground power projects are completed. These funds will then be used towards projects which benefit the whole Vincent community.

Construction Impacts

What will the construction works mean for me?

Western Power aim to minimise any impacts of underground power works to your property or business. Their contractors and the City of Vincent will keep you informed with regular updates on each stage of construction.

Contractors generally work within regular construction hours.  If after hours work is required for public safety reasons, Western Power will work with us, and other relevant authorities, to schedule the most appropriate time and inform you prior to these commencing.

While work is being carried out there may still be some construction impacts:

  • Noise, dust, and vibrations may all be a part of construction, but Western Power contractors will undertake works in accordance with standards and with a detailed management plan.
  • Noise impacts will be minimised by only using equipment that is well maintained and fit for purpose, as well as scheduling times to have the least impact on you.
  • To complete the work safely, traffic management will be in place to manage traffic and pedestrian flow. Please take care around work sites and follow relevant signage.


Will any power lines remain overhead after the undergrounding works are completed?

High voltage transmission power lines will remain overhead as they are too expensive to be converted to underground. The transmission network is an electricity freeway, carrying very large amounts of power, typically enough to supply hundreds of thousands of homes. Power is then transferred to the lower voltage electricity distribution network via substations and transformers to make it more suitable for the needs of your property and appliances. Distribution lines then carry electricity to properties for use by customers.

There is almost always more than one transmission line connected to each substation that feeds the distribution network, meaning that if one transmission line is turned off, the other can provide back-up. Despite this, there are relatively few transmission lines compared to distribution lines. Most of the power lines you see around the City are distribution lines and all of these will be undergrounded.

How can I tell a transmission line from a distribution line?

The main visual difference between transmission and distribution infrastructure is the size of the equipment. Transmission equipment is significantly larger than distribution equipment, a reflection of the massive amounts of energy it carries. Transmission power poles can take the form of large lattice towers or very tall steel or wooden poles.

Transmission lines are much taller than distribution lines and have long isolators separating the powerlines from their support structure.

Distribution lines are lower and have small isolators separating the lines from their support structure.

Below is an image of Norfolk Street in North Perth, showing distribution lines on the left and transmission lines on the right.

Power lines - North Perth

Transmission line, showing long isolators. 


Distribution line, showing small isolators.

Where can I find a map of the transmission lines in the City?

There are no transmission lines in project areas 1, 5, 7 and 8.

The transmission lines in project areas 2, 3, 4 and 6 are shown on their respective project area maps.

Is anything else remaining above the ground when powerlines are undergrounded?

Yes, there are two types of structure that will be above ground and visible:

  • Primary Equipment - which looks like green metal boxes and are usually located in parks and carparks.
  • Green domes - which are small plastic structures about the size of a large bucket, usually shared between two neighbouring properties and located on the property boundary facing the street.

What is primary equipment?

Primary equipment (PE) is the name used to describe electrical transformers and switchgear. They are essential components of the electricity distribution network. Before undergrounding, PE usually sits on top of power poles. When the poles disappear, the PE needs to be located on the ground. It cannot be undergrounded as it needs to be accessible for maintenance and repairs.

To ensure that PE is safe for people to be around, it is placed inside insulated cabinets that look like large metal boxes. Thes vary in size from 1 to 2m wide and are around 1.5m high.

PE locations are identified as part of the network design process, which is separate for each project area. If PE is to be located within sight of your property, you will be consulted. Where PE is planned for public open space, there will also be signage on site during the consultation period.

To see where the confirmed PE sites will be located, please refer to the relevant project area map.

What are green domes?

The green dome is the point of connection between your property and the main electrical network that runs along your street.

It is the same electrical wiring that runs from power poles to the top of houses, except underground. The green dome acts as a protective housing for the electrical wires that feed a property.

When the overhead wire that connects your house to the nearest power pole is removed, it will be replaced by a green dome.

Where will my green dome be located, and do I get a say? 

During the network design phase of each project, Western Power’s design contractor identifies the indicative location for each green dome, based on criteria and standards provided by Western Power. 


Green domes are usually placed on the boundary between two adjacent properties and the verge. But the final location of the green dome is not locked in at the design phase. It can be changed during the construction phase, based on the optimal route for the consumer mains cable as determined by the construction contractor.


You will receive a letter from the construction contractor some weeks ahead of the works at your property. This will include contact details for the contractor and an opportunity for you to meet with them onsite to discuss matters related to the upcoming works at your property, including green dome location.

Who owns the green dome?

The green dome located on your verge or property boundary is the property of Western Power. Should any damage occur to the green dome, please do not touch it as it contains live electrical wires. Contact Western Power immediately on 13 13 51 to request repairs.

Who owns the cable connecting my property to the green dome?

The electrical cable connecting your property’s electrical switchboard to the green dome on your verge or boundary is called the consumer main.


Following installation, the consumer main becomes the property of the property owner. It is not the property of Western Power. Should the consumer main become damaged, it is the responsibility of the property owner to engage an electrical contractor to undertake necessary repairs.

Can my existing single phase electricity supply be converted to a three phase supply as part of the undergrounding works?

Phase conversion is not within the scope of the undergrounding program. The contractor responsible for undergrounding your consumer mains cable will underground whatever is present at the time – whether this is single phase or three phase.

If you wish to change the number of phases to your property, we advise completing this prior to undergrounding. Please contact Western Power for more information on phase conversion and to request the relevant work.



Can the electrical capacity of my property be upgraded as part of undergrounding, to accommodate an EV charger or other electrical equipment I plan to install?

Capacity upgrades to accommodate individual property loads exceeding the standard connection service capacity are not within the scope of the undergrounding program.

If you have previously upgraded the supply capacity to your property, this will be maintained during undergrounding works.

Property owners are responsible for managing their electrical load and should seek electrical contractor advice when adding or replacing larger appliances or equipment such as electric vehicle chargers.

Electrical contractors have an obligation when adding electrical circuits to look at the demand requirements for households in accordance with industry standards and with network connection service requirements, then apply for an upgrade if they are exceeded.

If you plan to install electrical appliances or equipment that require a service capacity upgrade, we advise completing this upgrade prior to undergrounding.

The upgrade process, including associated costs varies depending on the premise type and individual needs. Please contact Western Power for more information on capacity upgrades.


 Will it cost me more to underground a three phase electrical supply to my property than a single phase supply?

The underground power program does not differentiate between single phase and three phase supply when calculating costs for undergrounding individual properties. The consumer mains charge you receive for undergrounding the cable between your verge and your home/building will be the same, regardless of the number of electrical phases that are undergrounded.  

What happens to private power poles after undergrounding?

If you have a power pole located inside your property as shown below, this is a private pole.


Most private power poles will be removed by the construction contractor following undergrounding of cables. The exception being where the property’s electrical meter is attached to the pole. In this case, the pole will be cut and capped just above the meter box.


Will the new streetlights be in the same place as current lighting?

It is unlikely a new streetlight will be placed in the same position as a previous streetlight. With every project, a new LED street lighting system is designed and installed to the latest Australian Standards. Each project is different, and the positioning of new streetlights is reviewed during the design stage.


What will the streetlights look like?

There are two designs of streetlights, one for main distributor roads, which is considerably higher, and a more decorative, lower height design for local streets.

Streetlight design (12.5m high) – main distributor roads

Streetlight design (6.5m high) – local streets


How will the quality and level of lighting change?

The new streetlights will be designed and installed to the latest Australian Standards. This means that in most streets, the level and quality of lighting will improve noticeably. Streets will feel safer, while the amount of unwanted light scatter will be reduced. The new LED lights will have a warm colour temperature, which is generally perceived as less harsh than cool white lights, which have been used in the past.

Where can I get more information?

The underground power project will be carried out in stages. At the start of each stage, you’ll receive notification prior to works commencing, explaining what will be done and how it may impact you. Contacts for specific enquiries are as follows:

Enquiry Type Contact Organisation Contact Details

Project works impacting you

Contractor - when engaged Not yet available
Project costs and funding (not yet available) City of Vincent

(08) 9273 6000


Underground Power - General Information Western Power

13 10 87

Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm

Latest news

Vincent adopts Underground Power Financial Model
Posted 10 July 2023 Vincent adopts Underground Power Financial Model

The City of Vincent has adopted a financial model to guide the roll-out of its underground power project across residential streets and town centres.

Underground power coming to Vincent
Posted 14 December 2022 Underground power coming to Vincent

Vincent and Western Power have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding for five project areas.

Budget 2022/23
Posted 06 July 2022 Budget 2022/23

Council has adopted the Budget 2022/23.

Vincent endorses underground power project
Posted 18 May 2022 Vincent endorses underground power project

Council endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding with Western Power.


Find out more

For questions related to the timing of the projects, site reinstatement or construction related activities, please email mail@vincent.wa.gov.au.

More information is available on the Western Power website.

You can also send your question(s) directly to City of Vincent via undergroundpower@vincent.wa.gov.au.

Make the safe call

If you see a fallen powerline, pole or damage to other electrical infrastructure, always assume it’s live.

Make the safe call and report an electrical emergency immediately to Western Power on 13 13 51 to keep you and your community safe.

If the emergency is life threatening, call emergency services on 000.

If you notice a streetlight isn't working, you can report it here.

Was this page helpful?